Fishbowl Ministries

Offering Hope, Encouragement, and Friendship to Those in Ministry So They May Finish Well


December 2022

As unbelievable as it is, Christmas is upon us again. Amidst the shopping and preparing and gathering, it is my hope that you are also waiting. Waiting with expectation. Waiting with hope. The Advent season reminds us that our Lord came in the fullness of time, but only after much waiting. I pray that you will find those quiet moments of expectation in the busyness of the season.

We end another year of Fishbowl ministries and are waiting with great expectation to see what the Lord will do in the coming year. Some of my pastors recently shared what Fishbowl means to them. I hope you are as encouraged by their testimonies as I am, and that you will continue to pray for all those in ministry.

-” I couldn’t imagine the last four years without my Fishbowl group. They give me amazing perspective when the world is crazy.”

-” The fellowship of pastors has been a grand blessing in my life and ministry. Each month I’m reminded that I’m not alone and I’m not crazy for going through the pains and joys of ministry.”

-” I have been so blessed by the relationships I have formed with Lyle and the other pastors in our group. It has been wonderful to have a safe place to share my true feelings, whether up or down, with pastors who know exactly what I am feeling and how to be a true friend through it all.”

I know you have many wonderful opportunities for year-end giving, but I would be so grateful if you would consider Fishbowl as you make those decisions. I am so thankful for each and every one of you.

Grace and Peace, Lyle


November 2022

I’m sure, like me, your thoughts have naturally been tuned to thanksgiving this month. Oh, that we would have hearts full of thankfulness all year, not just in November. Next month, you’ll receive a year-end recap of some of the wonderful things the Lord has done through Fishbowl this year, because of your faithfulness in prayer and giving. But this month, let’s take an additional moment of quiet to express our thanks to God for his goodness to us. The following is a Prayer of Thanksgiving, from The Book of Common Prayer.

Accept, O Lord, our thanks and praise for all that you have done for us. We thank you for the splendor of the whole creation, for the beauty of this world, for the wonder of life, and for the mystery of love.

We thank you for the blessing of family and friends, and for the loving care which surrounds us on every side. We thank you for setting us at tasks that demand our best efforts, and for leading us to accomplishments which satisfy and delight us. We thank you also for those disappointments and failures that lead us to acknowledge our dependence on you alone.

Above all, we thank you for your Son Jesus Christ; for the truth of his Word and the example of his life; for his steadfast obedience, by which he overcame temptation; for his dying, through which he overcame death; and for his rising to life again, in which we are raised to the life of your kingdom. Grant us the gift of your Spirit, that we may know Christ and make him known; and through him, at all times and in all places, may give thanks to you in all things. Amen.

Thank you for your continued support of Fishbowl Ministries. I’m grateful for you. Grace and Peace,


Rescue or Delight

October 2022


He brought me out into a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me. Psalm 18:19

The psalmist David sang the words of this psalm to the Lord when he had been delivered from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul. I’ve read this Psalm many, many times. However, when I recently read it, the last phrase jumped off the page: He rescued me because He delighted in me.” I’ve wondered many times why God would delight in me? In spite of the fact that He knows me perfectly, he still takes delight in me. Only God can do that!

But maybe it’s the other part of the verse that resonates with you: He rescued me. As I meet with pastors, this is the part of the verse that stands out to them. Ministry is tough, and much of the time, these pastors feel in need of rescue. This is why I love what I do and why the mission of Fishbowl ministries is so vital. Pastors and those in ministry need support, they need our prayers, and they need community. They need to experience both the rescue of the Lord and the delight of the Lord.

Thank you for your continued support of Fishbowl Ministries. I’m grateful for you.

Grace and Peace,



Let’s Talk about Pastors

September 2022

The Barna Research Group does some very interesting polling each year. I’d like to share some statistics with you this month.
Barna’s research, done in Spring 2021 shows the following:

●  Being a Pastor is hard work

●  29% of pastors are giving serious thought to quitting

●  17,000 pastors are leaving the church every year

Reports like this can paint a pretty bleak picture of being a pastor in 2022. There is hope, however, as these statistics do not represent every situation. This past Sunday, I was invited to share in a congregational celebration for a pastor, as he and his wife have been faithfully ministering at this church for 25 years! It was such a JOYFUL celebration of how this pastoral couple has remained faithful to the calling of God in their lives. I hope he has another 25 years in him!

Before I close this letter I want to remind you that October is Pastor Appreciation Month. I encourage you to reach out to your pastor, either through email or even dropping a note in the mail. Some of you might be in the position to send a gift card for a nice dinner out or a trip to the movies. These notes of appreciation are so appreciated and will make your pastor’s day.

Good things are happening here at Fishbowl ministries, and I so appreciate your prayers. I recently met and interviewed a pastor who would like to be part of Fishbowl Ministries, so please be in prayer for those decisions.

Thank you for all of your prayers and generous financial gifts to FBM!

Grace and Peace, Lyle



Fishbowl Ministries

Offering Hope, Encouragement, and Friendship to Those in Ministry So They May Finish Well


A Prayer for All of Us

August 2022

One of the first things a new organization does is craft a mission statement. Many years ago, as Linda and I were founding Fishbowl Ministries, we decided on the following statement:

Offering hope, encouragement, and friendship to all those in ministry so they may finish well.

I have been thinking of this concept of finishing well. Finishing well is not just for those in ministry, of course. All of us need to have the goal of finishing well, of running our race with endurance.

Several of my friends and I are reading the book, Everyday Prayers, written by Scotty Smith, a pastor here in Nashville. He writes,

“Heavenly Father, the older I get the more I care about finishing this life well. I wish less temptation came with more years. I need Jesus’ mercy and grace today. I wish the diminishment of physical strength brought an automatic increase in spiritual strength. But that is not the way it works.”

Whether you are in the prime of life, or on the far side of youth, let’s all make it our goal to run this race well, and to hear our Lord say, Well Done.

Thank you for all your prayers and generous financial gifts. Let’s make a goal of finishing well!

Grace and Peace, Lyle




Thoughts From My Couch July 2022

I have never written a book, but people who have tell me that sometimes they just can’t get words on the page.. As I sit down to write this newsletter, I think I am experiencing a bit of this infamous writer’s block. First, I apologize for being late with this letter. I have just gotten through another round of Covid, and as you can probably guess, I haven’t had a lot of energy to devote to my newsletter.

While I have been recovering, however, I have had time to think about pastors, and the many

struggles they face. Recently one of our FBM Staff told me that He and his wife were going to attend a church on a given Sunday to minister to a young pastor and his wife who had been told by the church that his services were no longer needed. That is a tough one to deal with.

I have a pastor friend who recently moved his family from Tennessee to the West Coast. He told me later that he was so disappointed in making that move and he wasn’t sure what he would do next. This kind of disappointment and disillusionment is why 70 percent of pastors are thinking about leaving the ministry.

This is also the reason that Fishbowl Ministries has been called by God to work with pastors to give them Hope, Encouragement, and Friendship

Thank you for all that you do as you pray for and give generously to Fishbowl Ministries.

Grace and Peace, Lyle



As you may remember from my last newsletter, we had our first FBM Staff Retreat in early June in Southern CA. And yes, the weather was perfect! We were blessed by three ladies who volunteered to fix and serve our meals, as well as by the attendance of eight of our staff members. Dan Harwell, FBM Board Member and Chief Financial Officer for Fishbowl Ministries attended, as well.

I listened carefully as each of the guys shared their ministry story and why they decided to be a part of Fishbowl Ministries . My heart was blessed to see and hear the quality of men that God has given to FBM.
Let me share briefly what one pastor shared. After he sent out over 50 letters to pastors and church staff, one of the first responses he received was an email that said “I was intrigued by your letter.This sort of thing addresses a need in the church, especially these days. I know a number of pastors that are struggling right now.”

What a blessing to be able to help meet those needs!

On the last Sunday that I was in CA I decided to attend Arbor Road Church where I had been on staff for 9.5 years. Little did I know that it was the church’s 75th year of ministry celebration. I was able to connect with many of you who support this ministry, and I even had a chance to speak in an adult Sunday School Class. I did not know that this was going to happen, but as John Wesley was training young preachers for ministry he said to them, “Always be ready to preach, pray, sing, or die.” I do not mind the first ideas, but I am not quite ready for the last one.

I am sorry that my schedule did not allow me to spend time with all my CA. supporters. But I want you all to know how grateful I am for your prayers and your generous financial support. These are difficult times that we are living in, but God has promised to walk with us and supply all our needs!

Blessings and Peace to all of you!



Fishbowl Ministries

Offering Hope, Encouragement, and Friendship to Those in Ministry So They May Finish Well

A Tribute To My Wife

March 2022

Shortly after you receive this newsletter, April 8th will be upon us. Some of you may recall that this date will mark the two-year anniversary of when Linda moved from this earthly life to meet her Savior. It is hard to believe that she has been in Heaven for two years. I recently read an article from a psychiatrist who was asked the question, “How long does grief last?” Her answer was, “about 6 months.” It is obvious that she has, perhaps, never had a personal grief experience. Many of you reading this have said “goodbye” to a loved one many years ago and yet you still remember, you still grieve, and you still honor that person.

Allow me to share some of the things I remember and cherish about Linda.

*Linda was kind. I very rarely heard her say an unkind word about anybody. *Linda was generous. She loved to give gifts to her children and especially her grandchildren.
*Linda was forgiving. Why else do you think we survived 51 years of marriage! *Linda loved to celebrate. She always made a big deal out of birthdays, Christmas, and was known to host a few Super Bowl Parties. And of course, the paper plates, napkins, cups, and table cloth had to match.
*Linda was a woman who sought after the heart of God. Her faith was strong and her commitment was deep. She loved for us to pray together for our children and grandchildren. I remember many nights before going to sleep she would say “Can we pray?”
*Linda was tenacious. It did not bode well for me to tell Linda that what she wanted to do could not be done. (She got that from her father)
*Linda had a great sense of humor. Whenever we had a family dinner she always had a joke to tell. What made it even more humorous was that she often could not remember the punch line!

Thank you for allowing me to share this tribute. I think about her every day and miss her dearly, but I am so glad that she is no longer suffering from 15 years of Parkinson’s.

Thank you for your continued prayers for Fishbowl Ministries and your faithful financial support. God is continuing to add new people to our Fishbowl Team., and we are excited for the weeks and months to come!
Grace and Peace,



Fishbowl Ministries

Offering Hope, Encouragement, and Friendship to Those in Ministry So They May Finish Well

Annual Report 2021

Why does Fishbowl Ministries exist? Let me answer that by sharing some statistics with you.

     *More than 70% of pastors do not have a close friend to confide in and to share their struggles

     *50% do not meet regularly with an accountability person or group.

     *It is reported that 250 pastors leave the ministry every month.

     *80% will not be in the ministry ten years later and only a fraction make it a lifelong career. On average, seminary-trained pastors last only five years in church ministry

     *60% of pastor’s wives said the saddest day of their lives was when their husband decided to be a pastor.

In spite of all the challenges of this past year, our staff have found ways to connect with pastors young and old. Because of your support, dozens of pastors have been encouraged, edified, and supported. It has been my honor to walk with them through these difficult times. It has also been my privilege to lead Fishbowl Ministries for almost 10 years. I pray that God will give me at least 10 more!

There are many things that I am grateful for in this past year, but let me share just two with you.

*The addition of two new staff members: John Sherman and Michael Delamarian III. Both of these men are a wonderful addition to our staff. They both have a successful history of ministry in California, and a deep love for pastors.

*The appointment of Dan Harwell as the first CFO of Fishbowl Ministries. Since Linda and I started FBM, I have handled all the financial matters, including writing all the checks for the staff, handling all the legal requirements for a non-profit, and sending out about 300 giving receipts at the end of the year. I think I will just stop for a moment and breathe a sigh of relief

So where do we go from here? Several years ago as I was driving and praying, I sensed the Lord saying to me that someday we would have ten people on staff. Well, right now we have eight, so I am open to bringing on more staff, as the Lord leads.

We have also been working hard to get a new website up and running. I would like to thank my daughters, Kelley and Kristi, for all the ideas and help that they have given, along with my pastor friend, Josh Hueisman, for building our new site. Please take a look at the new website. You’ll see that you now have the ability to set up recurring donations directly through the website. We will also be adding new and updated content regularly. You’ll find the new site at

This year I will also be seeking to expand our donor base. Many of you have supported Fishbowl for over a dozen years, and I am deeply grateful. However, we are all getting older – strange how that happens – and I know that as God continues to call me to do what I do, He will continue to provide all that I need.

As always, I am grateful for all of your prayers and financial gifts.

Grace and Peace,


FishBowl Ministries | P.O. Box 5444, Fullerton, CA 92838 |



Comfort and Joy

December 2021


God rest ye merry gentlemen

Let nothing you dismay, Remember Christ our Savior
Was born on Christmas Day;
To save us all from Satan’s power When we were gone astray.

From God our heavenly Father A blessed angel came;
And unto certain shepherds Brought tiding of the same;
How that in Bethlehem was born The Son of God by name.

Fear not, then, said the angel, Let nothing you affright;
This day is born a Savior
Of a pure virgin bright,

To free all those who trust in Him From Satan’s power and might.

O tidin of comfo an jo!

May each of you experience the
Joy and Peace of Jesus this season. We are thankful for you!

Grace and Peace,


New address for your donations

Fishbowl Ministries P.0. Box 5444 Fullerton CA. 92838


FBM Ministries 2021




November 2021

How many of you like change? If I could see a show of hands, I believe there would not be many raised. Certainly over these past two years we have endured many changes. And like it or not, I am sure there will be more to come. In fact, I want to share with you some changes that will be taking place in January, 2022 for Fishbowl Ministries.

#1- Financial changes
About two years ago I invited Dan Harwell to join our Board of Directors. Dan, who lives in Fullerton, CA, was wrapping up 30 plus years in banking and has been a strong supporter of FBM. Recently the Board approved my request to make Dan the Treasure of FBM. This will take a lot of pressure off of me and free me to spend more time with pastors instead of keeping track of all the finances and reports that have to be sent to CA and TN each year.

#2-How does this affect each of you?
Starting in January 2022 you will no longer send your donations to me But they will be sent to FishBowl Ministries, POBox 5444 Fullerton, CA, 92838

For those of you who use a giving envelope, that will still be provided for you. Also, I know that some of you send me notes along with your donation. I love reading them and finding out what is going on in your life. Dan has assured me and other staff members that receive “donor notes” that he will forward those to each of us.

#3-New Staff Member
I am happy to share with you that we have just welcomed a new staff member to our team. John Sherman has served in many pastoral positions at Calvary Church in Santa Ana, CA. We welcome him and trust that he will have a significant impact on pastors in CA.

#4-One more item
The end of 2021 will soon be upon us. Every church and nonprofit that I know of looks forward to “extra giving” at the end of the year. I would encourage you to make a year-end gift, first to your church and if you can, to help Fishbowl Ministries have a strong financial finish to 2021!

I thank you for your faithfulness in prayer and in your financial gifts. May God bless you and may the joy of Thanksgiving and Christmas fill your heart!

Grace and peace, Lyle


What Does That Verse Mean?

October 2021

When you sit down to read Scripture do you ever ask yourself What does that verse really mean? How does that verse apply to my life? Am I taking it out of context? I believe that most of us, at some time, has taken a verse out of context. I can remember back in the “old days” when I used to go into a Christian book store – remember those? – and they always had plaques on the wall with only part of the Bible verse. Usually, it was the positive part of the verse, for example, “Jesus died for your sins.” That makes sense because who would buy a plaque that said, “If you do not confess your sins you will go to Hell!”

Here is an example of what I am talking about: James 4:7


I really love that verse because I want him to flee from me, however, that is only part of the verse. The key to the devil fleeing from us is the first part of the verse:


If we do not submit, we will not be enabled by the Holy Spirit to resist. Here is one more example that comes from a familiar passage in Acts 1:8


I want Holy Spirit power in my life. Why? So I can fulfill the last part of the verse:



Let’s be honest, we want Holy Spirit Power, but do we want that power so that we can be witnesses to our friends, family, and our neighbors? Something to think about.

Thanks for reading my monthly sermon. Thank you all for your faithful prayers and generous financial gifts. FishBowl Ministries exists because of your faithfulness

May the Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; The Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.

Grace and Peace,



More Like Jesus, Less Like Me

September 2021

Recently I have been thinking about the condition of our country, and also of our churches.I am saddened by what I see in both places. Regardless of which side you are on politically, you will have to admit that we are in difficult times. Neighbors yell at each other; parents yell at each other at School Board meetings, and yell and threaten the men and women that sit on these boards, and many of those involved would say they are Christians!

Lately I have been listening to a song, “Less Like Me” by Zack Williams (no relation). I hope you will read the lyrics carefully and if you want to hear the song, you can find it on Spotify or YouTube.

     Oh I have days I lose the fight
     Try my best but just don’t get it right Where I talk a talk that don’t walk

     And miss the moments right before my eyes

     Somebody with a hurt that I could have helped Somebody with a hand that I could have held When I just can’t             see past myself Lord help me be A little more like mercy, a little more like grace

      A little more like kindness, goodness,, love and faith A little more like patience, a little more like peace
     A little more like Jesus,a little less like me

     Oh, I wanna feed the beggar on the street
     Learn to be your hands and feet
     Freely give what I receive I want to put you first above all else Love my neighbor as myself
     A little more of living what I preach
     A little more like Jesus, a little less like me

My prayer is that all of us will be more like Jesus in what we say and how we conduct ourselves. Thank you for your prayers and your generous gifts.

Grace and peace, Lyle



What is Wrong with Our Country?

July 2021

If you looked at the title of this newsletter and were hoping that I have the answer to my question, you might be disappointed. I do know that our country is in a bad shape. We are divided with Red States and Blue States and with Black Lives Matter vs All Lives Matter. It seems like we have lost the ability to even have a civil discussion about our differences. For those of you that are in my age bracket, you may remember the phrase that we said when someone was picking on us. We responded by saying “Sticks and Stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me!” Yes, if someone hits you with sticks or stones it will hurt, but words may hurt even more because they hit us deep in our hearts.

Writing about this subject,a local Nashville pastor quoted singer Mariah Carey who said one criticism will instantly overrule 1,000 praises. We always seem to remember the criticism more than the praise. In Proverbs 12:16-18 we read, “A fool is quick tempered, but a wise person stays calm when insulted, an honest witness tells the truth, a false witness tells lies.Some people bring cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing.”

I believe the question we have to ask ourselves is this: Do I want the words that I speak to be words that hurt or words that heal? Hopefully we want words that heal, but how does that happen? Luke 6:45 says, “Out of the heart the mouth speaks.” Our words are healed as we replace what fills our heart. And what should fill our heart is Jesus. One of my favorite passages of Scripture comes from Colossians 3. It says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouth but only that which will build others up who hear them. Because Christ has changed your life , put off such things as anger, rage, malice, slander and abusive language and do not lie to one another.” It goes on to say, “Because you belong to God, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with a heart of mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also forgive others.”

Wow! What a challenge has been put before us. No one will do it perfectly, not me or you, but we can make our homes, our neighborhoods, our churches and our country a better place if we will practice words of healing instead of words of hate.

Thank you for your prayers and continued financial support! Grace and peace,


An Important Message

We are currently having a problem with our donation button on our website. The majority of donors to Fishbowl Ministries send their donations either by personal check or have their regular donation sent through their bank.

A few of our donors, however, send their monthly donations through Paypal. Please note: You will not be able to use Paypal to make your donations, so please send it by personal check or set it up as a recurring payment through your bank. Thank you for your understanding!



The Mission Statement for FishBowl Ministries states: Offering Hope, Encouragement, and Friendship to all those in Ministry SO THAT THEY MAY FINISH WELL!

June 2021

Linda and I met at a very small College in Marion, Indiana in 1966.The school was then called Marion College. It struggled for many years to see enrollment reach 1,000 students. Some years later the school changed its name to Indiana Wesleyan University and this past school year they had 4,000 students that graduated. WOW!

In a few months I hope to be at IWU to celebrate the 50th year of my college graduation. (It was really last year but Covid 19 took center stage) I hope we all wear name tags because some of us may have changed in 50 years! I want to tell you about two people that finished well in what God had asked of them. Their names were Dr. Wilbur Williams and Dr. Ardelia Williams. (No relation)

Dr Wilbur Williams served Marion College/IWU for 50 years as Associate Professor of Biblical Literature. 8 times he was awarded the Professor of the Year award by the students. During his 50 years as a professor, he made156 trips to the Holy Land, taught 17,250 students and volunteered 40 years participating in archaeological excavations in Israel and North Africa.

Dr Ardelia Williams was also busy. She spent 35 years as Associate Professor of Art and Coordinator of the Arts Department. She designed and crafted 6 stained glass windows for one of the major buildings on campus. She also spent 40 years leading students on trips to Italy and England. On the IWU campus there is a small, but beautiful prayer chapel that was built a few years ago in their honor. The best part of this story is that this couple deferred their salaries for 22 years to fund the building along with five sculptures of this prayer chapel.

As I read this story a few weeks ago I thought, “this is what it means to finish well”. You and I will not do what Wilbur and Ardelia Williams did but we can follow God and do what He wants us to. We can finish well and hear Him say: Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your reward.

Thanks to all of you for your financial gifts and your faithful prayers. You are an integral part in helping all of our FBM pastors to finish well!

Blessings and peace, Lyle




MAY 2021

How many times have you seen a really tall person trying to get through a doorway without hitting their head. As we get older it seems like bending down becomes harder and harder. In fact I have found myself bending over to pick up something off the floor and looking around to see if there is anything else I should get while I am in that position. (Now, don’t laugh at me because some of you do the same thing.) If you are a person who enjoys working out then bending over several times helps to strengthen those abs!

Do you remember when your children were small or when your grandchildren needed help to tie their shoes or help them get dressed. What did you do? You bent over to help them. (Some of you at this point are thinking This is a strange newsletter. What is Lyle trying to say?)

I am currently reading through the Psalms as a part of my morning devotions.
I have read through the Psalms many times and each time I find something fresh and new that grabs my attention. Recently I was reading Psalm 116 in the New Living Translation. I love the Lord because He hears my voice and my prayer for mercy. Because He bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath.

A few days ago, a pastor that I have known for many years called and told me that he was really struggling with some personal issues in his life. As we talked I said: I just discovered a new verse in the Psalms”. And then I read it to him. That day he needed God to bend down and listen to this pastor’s cry for help.

When our conversation was about to end he said, The Scripture that I was drawn to this morning was Habakkuk 3;17-1.

“even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no
grapes on the vine; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty
and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation. The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He will make me as surefooted as a deer and bring me safely over the mountains.

What do you need God to do for you today? If you ask Him He will bend down to listen. Thank you for your continued prayers and financial gifts. It allows FBM to bend down and listen to the hurts and struggles of pastors!

Blessings and peace,



To Tell The Truth

April, 2021

Many of you will remember the old game show entitled “To Tell The Truth” The idea was that the panel had to decide which of the contestants was telling the truth. I recently discovered a song written by contemporary singer and songwriter, Matthew West, entitled “Truth Be Told.” It reminded me of a Sunday long ago that I greeted a lady in church that I knew had a lot of struggles in her life. She was smiling when I asked her how she was doing. She responded by saying, oh I’m fine. That’s the way we are supposed to be when we come to church!
I invite you to carefully read these lyrics:

Lie number – one you’re supposed to have it altogether. And when they ask you how you’re doing just smile and Tell them “Never better”.
Lie number 2 – everybody’s life is perfect except yours So keep your messes and your wounds
And your secrets safe with you behind closed doors. Truth be told, the truth is rarely told, now.

I say I’m fine, yes I’m fine but I’m not, I’m broken
And when it is out of control, I say it is under control but it’s not and you know it.
I don’t know why it is so hard to admit it when being honest Is the only way to fix it. There’s no failure, no fall, There’s no sin you don’t already know.
So let the truth be told.

There’s a sign on the door, that says, “Come as you are” But I doubt it cause if we lived like it was true, every Sunday morning the pews would be crowded.
But didn’t You say the church should look more like a Hospital, A safe place for the sick, the sinner and The scarred and the prodigals, like me.

Can I really stand here unashamed knowing that Your love for me won’t change?
Oh God, if that is really true then let the truth be told. There’s no failure, no fall, there’s no sin you don’t Already know.
So let the truth be told.

FBM Ministries 2021

I know this newsletter is a little different than what I normally write. However, I hope it will speak to all of our hearts. I hope that we all have someone in our life that we can be real with and also know that it is a safe place to be real.

That is why FishBowl Ministries was started, to give Pastors and all those in ministry a safe place to be real.

Thank you to each one of you who pray for us and give generously so that this ministry can continue to offer hope, encouragement, and friendship to those in ministry so that they may finish strong!

Blessings and Peace to all of you! Lyle



March 2021

Think back with me (for most of us) many years ago. Most of us, in our childhood years envisioned something we wanted to be “when we grow up” ……. a dancer, a firefighter, a teacher, a police officer, a mother with a house full of children…. well maybe a few children, a preacher, a singer, or even a movie star. When I was 4 years old, I was riding in the car with my Dad. I turned to him and said, Daddy I want to be a preacher and truthfully that is all I ever wanted to be. In all the things we said we wanted to be when we grew up, did we ever say, I WANT TO BE LIKE JESUS!?

I grew up in a musical family. I was a singer, my sister was excellent on the keyboard, my mother had a lovely alto voice, but my dad …. well not so much, but he enjoyed the music that the rest of us produced. My father did have favorite hymns and one day, not long ago the words to one of his favorite hymns popped into my mind. I would like to share those words with you. For though they were written many years ago, I believe they have a message for us today.

Thomas Obadiah Chisholm 1897
O to be like Thee! Blessed Redeemer this is my constant longing and prayer. Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures, Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear. O to be like Thee full of compassion, loving, forgiving, tender and kind, Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wand’ring sinners to find.
O to be like Thee! Lowly in spirit, Holy and harmless, patient and brave. Meekly enduring cruel reproaches, willing to suffer, others to save.
O to be like Thee, while I am pleading, Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love. Make me a temple, meet for Thy dwelling, fit me for life and heaven above. Chorus
O to be like Thee! O to be like Thee, blessed Redeemer.
Pure as Thou art; Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness. Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.

A special prayer request:
April 8, 2021 will mark one year since Linda, a precious wife and wonderful mother, made her entrance into her Heavenly home. Our family will be meeting together to place some flowers and share some memories (and I am sure shed a few tears). Your prayers will be greatly appreciated on that day.

As always, thank you for all your love and continued financial support for FBM.






What a year this has been! I wish I had a dollar For every time I heard the word


Most people, at the beginning of a new year, make all sorts of resolutions as to what their new year will look like.

Of course, by the end of the first week, most people have broken those resolutions. At the beginning of 2020 I decided to focus on one resolution and choose one word that would be my word for the year. I sensed that the word that God gave me was “stillness.” Little did I know at that time that I would have plenty of chances to need and use that word. As we started to hear about Covid-19, there was plenty of time for stillness. And then came April 8th when Jesus called Linda home to be with Him. I had then, and still have a need for times of stillness in my life.

Even though I struggle with technology I am grateful for what it allows us to do. When I could not meet in person with pastors, we knew we could talk on the phone or have a ZOOM meeting. We could laugh together and pray together, and in the loneliness of being a pastor they knew that there was someone who cared about them and wanted to encourage them. Several times during the year I would hear “We really appreciate FishBowl Ministries, and we are grateful for what you do.”

There is one thing that God continually reinforces in me, year after year, and that is the passion and love that I have for all those who are in ministry. This has not been an easy year for pastors as they have had to make decisions about “do we open our church for people to come in person?” “What do we do with the issue that some want to wear masks, and some don’t, and then hurtful remarks are made on social media?” How about the finances? (Interestingly enough, pastors that I talk to have said “During Covid-19 our income has actually been higher.”)

God is good! He takes care of His Church and those who serve him.

I am grateful for our FBM Staff and for each of you who serve on this board and for your prayers for this ministry, myself, and my family. Most mornings I take a prayer walk. I pray for my family and I pray for you! God is still at work and I want to be a part of what He is doing!

Additional Thoughts:
I wanted to take a minute to thank you and let you know that if it were not for all of you reading this newsletter, Fishbowl Ministries would not exist. I thank you for your continued faithful prayers and your generous financial gifts.

We are going to make some changes this year. (or as my daughter told the board, we are moving Dad into the 21st century.) The major change that we are making will not affect you until the end of 2021.
Every year, each staff member sends me a list of their donors complete with their address and amount they have given and then I hand address all the receipts for all the donations that have been given. This year I did 175 of those. It is not only time consuming, but it is also costly.

January of 2022, I will be sending out all of the receipts by email. This will save FBM at least $200 in postage and printing. I am asking all of our staff to make sure they have email addresses for all of their donors throughout this year.

Here is the one request, and it is a simple one, I ask of you – Send your email address to:

Blessings and Peace to all of you!